Success Story: How sustainable farming techniques saved Jayesh’s peanut crop in Gujarat

Jayesh Bhai Jaman Bhai Bhakkad is a 41-year-old farmer from Thanapipli, Junagadh, Gujarat (western India). For 24 years, Jayesh farmed cash crops like cotton, peanuts, and vegetables using traditional farming methods. Last year, Jayesh began noticing a decline in his output and income, due in part to a fungus that was attacking his peanut crop.  In response, he sought out training programs from a local university, spent INR 6000 on pesticides to combat the unknown virus that was yellowing his normally green peanut plants. However, despite Jayesh’s efforts in applying the pesticide and taking classes from the local university, his crop continued to wilt.

“I have been growing peanuts for the last 24 years, all of a sudden my groundnut plants turned green to yellow and scientists from the nearby agricultural university could not resolve my problem.”

Fortunately, Jayesh was able to connect with Tanager’s staff in India who helped him join Mars Wrigley’s Peanut Farmer Program called Mangal Moongfali. Mars Wrigley, in partnership with Tanager, started Mangal Moongfali program in 2018. The program trains farmers in India on good agricultural practices aimed to increase crop yields, reduce water usage, and mitigate aflatoxin, a fungus that impacts the quality of the peanut; ultimately helping smallholder farmers increase their livelihoods by protecting and securing healthy crops. As a part of the program, Tanager’s Cluster Manager recommended a low-cost micro-nutrient spray and asked him to try this for a week to see if it had any effect on the fungus that was destroying Jayesh’s livelihood. Almost overnight, the spray did its work, returning the natural green color of a healthy peanut plants. He applied the treatment three more times per the Cluster Manager’s instructions and was able to save his crop for the year.

“After I joined Tanager’s project in Junagadh, they helped me in saving my crops which were otherwise getting destroyed by the attack of virus.”

Farmers like Jayesh are always looking for the best way to protect their crop but expert advice and solutions are not always readily available. By participating in the Mangal Moongfali Peanut Farmer Program with Mars Wrigley and Tanager, Jayesh was able to access a cost-effective way of solving his fungus problem.

In its first year, Mangal Moongfali program has trained more than 800 Peanut farmers and helped increase crop yield by 28.5% on farmer demonstration plots.